Tag Archives: hope

A Prayer for Judah (our new grandson)

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Dear Lord,

Thank you for sending Judah to us today, he is a gift from heaven. We are not quite sure what to do with him, since we never had a son. A grandson is a unique and precious gift. We thank You for entrusting him to us. We commit to do our very best in helping to raise him the way that You desire.

I pray for him on this first day of his life on this earth.

I pray that:

He will be strong and healthy and safe.

That you will provide his parents with everything they will need in order to raise him to honor You.

That he and his big sister, Sophie will have a wonderful childhood together and an even better relationship as adults.

That He will come to know You at the earliest possible opportunity.

That he will grow up to be a leader, not a follower.

That he will grasp the power of Your love and share that love with others.

That he will help the culture of his day to embrace the Gospel of Christ.

That he will be an earth-shaker for You, one who influences others to follow You.

That he will have courage, strength, confidence, integrity, passion, and faith.

But most of all, I pray that he will be a man of God, a genuine Christian, every day of his life.

Thank you for reminding us, by sending Judah to us, that you have not given up on the world. Our new baby assures us that there is hope.

All in the name of Christ,

Amen

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Don’t Give Up On Justice

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Don’t give up on justice (even when it doesn’t come)!

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” Amos 5:4 (NIV)

We don’t need another Martin/Zimmerman commentary. Apparently we could use a primer on hoping for justice. In light of the recent verdict, and the resulting turbulence, I’ve heard so many people comment that they have simply given up on the idea of true justice in our world. This is a dangerous position to assume. If we lose hope of the possibility of justice, our morality will deteriorate, and quickly.

How to keep justice alive:

  • Understand that only God can be truly just and we can’t expect humankind to behave like Him.  We are the same people who crucified Jesus, how dare we think that we will treat one another any better? We must have a realistic expectation. It has been this way from the beginning – people have been mistreating one another since Cain murdered his brother Abel in Genesis 4.
  • We must be redemption oriented. We have to work to provide a way to heal what has been broken. We must work toward wholeness, though it is slow in coming.
  • Forgiveness must be offered even when justice is refused. Lack of forgiveness turns to bitterness which turns to destruction – both of the victim and the perpetrator.
  • Have a Kingdom of Heaven mentality. Until we get to glory, all of this will continue. Look beyond today to what will come. This is hope that lasts, in spite of prevailing injustice.
  • Practice it. Justice must be for all, including you and me. Treat other people with equity and respect and humility. This is the Spirit of Christ at work within us.

Don’t give up on justice; it’s attainable, even if only by a few. And God alone knows justice – we can count on Him to make all things right one day.  Fix your hope on God!


Turns Out there is Hope After All

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It is July 4th week and there is a lot of talk about trouble in America. Many people are lamenting the spiritual condition of our country and some are even saying there is no hope for America.

After this week, I beg to differ.

We just finished a week of summer camp for teenagers. As I reflect on the experiences of the week, I have a renewed sense of hope and positivity. Here is why:

I met some young, dynamic spiritual leaders who are willing to sacrifice an easier life in order to serve as a positive influence in the lives of others. Leaders like E.J. Mirelez and Perseus and Lorena Gross (Confess and Be Free) and Israel and Erin Noboa care enough about today’s teenagers and tomorrow’s leaders that they give of themselves in unbelievable ways. They exude hope.

I watched adult local leaders, pastors, youth pastors and youth leaders serve the kids of their churches and communities. They did without sleep, they gave personal finances, they put up with nonsense – all because they believe in their kids. They are reason for hope.

I watched some pretty troubled kids be transformed. Many of the teenagers at camp come from very difficult backgrounds. Many of these kids do not have positive role models at home. Some are neglected and abused.  Some of them have little exposure to hope. But once they saw it in action, they embraced it! They are hope!

There is hope for the world! The future can be bright. We cannot give up on the possibility of our country and world turning to Christ. This week showed me that when true hope is offered, it is received.

Maybe instead of spending our time lamenting about how bad things are, we should get busy sharing hope. It works!


Please Don’t Reject Hope

6294765917_27edd90858_zExodus chapter 6 in the Bible discusses God’s plan to liberate the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. He laid out the specifics to Moses and Moses then delivered the plan to the people. Their response is depressing: “So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.” (Exodus 6:2) They rejected God’s plan. They had given up on the idea that they would ever be free.

What causes people to reject offers of help and hope? The Exodus passage explains that they refused to listen because they were “discouraged by the brutality of their slavery”. Their bondage had gotten the best of them. Their pain had caused them to give up. When people hurt badly enough, they can be tempted to reject hope. This is sad.

As if the pain isn’t bad enough…

God’s plan may now be derailed – if they refuse to believe and participate, things may not turn out the way God had planned. He wants them to participate in the escape process. If they don’t get involved and take action, their slavery will continue.

For sure, their misery would be compounded, without the hope of hope. The human spirit can endure amazing stress, if there is the promise of hope. Without hope, pain can destroy us.

No matter what you are going through today, please don’t reject hope. It may seem like there is no promise of things changing. But there is hope! If you reject hope, your chance of things changing reduces drastically. If you reject hope, your pain will intensify.

There is hope in Christ. Please don’t reject hope.

If you need someone to pray with you, feel free to contact me at rickwhitter@gmail.com or maybe I can help put you in contact with someone locally.